Kempson 'shattered' by assault

2012-11-14 14:47

Cape Town - Former Springbok prop Robbie Kempson, who was arrested over an alleged assault during a World Classic match, said he feels "absolutely shattered" about the serious injury suffered by the American player involved.

However, Kempson said the incident which left Leif Gibson with a spinal injury happened during the course of the game, and “I don’t think it should have gone as far as it has”.

Kempson, 38, spent 12 hours in police custody after being arrested over what police described as an “off ball assault” on flyhalf Gibson during last Saturday's match at the National Sports Centre in Bermuda.

According to US Eagles team manager Tim Kluempers, the players were “way off the ball” when Kempson allegedly ran into Gibson's back from behind. He said the tackle was “not necessary”, which is why the alleged assault was reported to the police. He fears that 34-year-old Gibson, who was on his first tour with the US team, “will probably never play rugby again” as a result of the injury.

Kempson told The Royal Gazette website on Tuesday that he’d been released on police bail while a senior prosecutor reviews the case file. He will not participate in the rest of the tournament, which will see South Africa play Argentina on Wednesday in a bid to reach the championship final.

He said: “The incident that happened was in the general course of a rugby game. I don’t think it should have gone as far as it has.”

He said of the injury suffered by Gibson: “I feel absolutely terrible. It’s an absolute tragedy. Unfortunately it’s a contact sport and injuries do happen. I have had a back fusion myself and three neck operations so I understand what the player is feeling. It’s a terrible incident that happened and I feel absolutely shattered about it. Hopefully he’s doing better and will be fine when he gets back to the United States.”

Kempson said the Bermuda Police Service were “outstanding” in the way they handled the incident and he has had a “lot of support” from his own team-mates and other players involved in the Classic.

South Africa coach Pieter Muller said the team could not make any further statement until a decision has been made by prosecutors.

It’s not the first time Kempson has been caught up in foul play on the field. In 2003, Australian vice-captain Toutai Kefu suffered spinal concussion after being tackled high and late by Kempson during Australia’s Tri-Nations victory over South Africa. Kempson was suspended for four weeks.

Having received treatment at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital after Saturday’s clash, Gibson was fitted with a brace and flew home to Houston for further medical attention. US manager Kluempers said the player was “not up to” speaking to the media.

“He’s in some pain and packing and trying to get the hell out of here,” he explained.

Kempson played 37 Tests for the Springboks in a career which spanned 1998-2003.


  • liesure.larry - 2012-11-14 14:54

    Stupid... from behind Nogal...

      Bigrp - 2012-11-14 16:01

      I remember a certain Burger Geldenhuys hitting Andy Dalton from behind, breaking his jaw...from then Northern Transvaal, perhaps?

      auric.goldfinger.3720 - 2012-11-14 16:06

      At least real men dont wear pink Braam...

      james.eayrs - 2012-11-14 16:21

      And to add to Bigrp, Dalton had to undergo 8 operations over a number of years after that incident. What really get's to me is that Kempson actually believes it is ok to defend an off the ball tackle from behind. What mentality does that show? Also, rules should be altered to include that should a player be found guilty of illegal play that caused another player injury to the extent that that player can no longer play, the infringing player should be banned from playing as long as the player that suffered the injury can not play. If the injured player can never play again, the transgressor should be banned for life. This rule should be applied from the moment of injury.

      james.eayrs - 2012-11-14 19:22

      Bloumasjien, that's not the entire story. The Geldenhuis Dalton incident took place at least 40 from the ball. There was a loose scrum, the ball came out and was spread down the line. Dalton had left the lose scrum and Geldenhuis followed about 10 meters behind. He then charged Dalton from behind and hit him from behind below to the front of the ear. Dalton dropped. Geldenhuis then continued running across field to join the game. There could have been provocation in the loose, but that still does not warrant the action taken by Geldenhuis. It was simply cowardly. Are you really trying to defend a guy hitting someone from behind? To me it goes against everything I regard as sportsmanship.

  • wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-11-14 14:58


  • bas.horneman - 2012-11-14 15:23

    I'd love to see video of the incident before judging him. It is not the first time however: Australian vice-captain Toutai Kefu has been cleared of serious neck damage, after suffering a high tackle in Saturday's Tri-Nations victory over South Africa. Kefu was taken to hospital after being hit high and late from behind by Springbok prop Robbie Kempson.

  • - 2012-11-14 15:36

    Bakkies Botha school of excellence.

  • allen.visser - 2012-11-14 15:42

    Where's the You Tube footage? I want to see how dirty this was.

  • djmain1 - 2012-11-14 15:44

    Yes - pathetic Kempson - man up and admit you made a mistake. Absolutely cowardly act from the sounds of it. And you saying it shouldn't have gone this far as it was in the course of a game means that you probably think its OK to strangle another player to death - as long as it is while the game is on. Stupid wally!

  • erich.oosthuizen.3 - 2012-11-14 16:03

    Kempson is a scumbag, always patrolling cape town bars with his mates, hasseling people and thingking hes gods gift to women.

  • - 2012-11-14 16:28

    Oh so now attacking an unsuspecting player way off the ball and from behind is general play? And please tell me how your injuries as a prop can be compared to hitting a player from behind. I hope they again take you into custody for your cowardly act. And I hope the American sues the crap out of you.

  • - 2012-11-14 16:34

    *Kempson 'Shattered' by assualt* the headline makes it sound like he's the victim when he's actually the scumbag. I wonder is Supersport will run this article as he is a presenter. I doubt it seeing as the deleted my comment about this yesterday.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-14 16:42

    Hope you pay for this unnecessary foul tackle on him. No point in feeling "absolutely shattered" after the incident. Problem with foul play is that they know that they are doing wrong but they still do it and then plead for forgiveness.

  • edwardsch - 2012-11-14 16:50

    T H U other word to describe this fool.

  • claude.felbert - 2012-11-14 18:16

    I don't know exactly what happened but if there was any malicious intent then Kempson deserves stringent sanction. However the people in this forum are just as bad with their own verbal thuggery as they don't know the actual circumstances and are happy to condemn on no evidence. Provincial bias and not fact or Rugby is what most go on in these forums. - 2012-11-14 20:58

      From a friend who was at the game. *Yep...really bad. The poor USA guy didnt even see it coming!! the USA were attacking and about 15 yards out from line. He was in line waiting to take the pass...the prop was getting up from a ruck and behind him and as he passed him he punched him in the neck. When he dropped to the floor his arms and chest were paraylised and he need oxygen forced into lungs as his chest wouldnt work. Its all on video which the police and USA solicitor have. The USA are going for both Rugby and criminal actions!!! This is supposed to be a fun tournament so people here not too impressed but fun or not we all know this thuggery has no place in any sport.

      classwar.trotsky - 2012-11-14 21:59

      He.Tackled.A.Guy.From.Behind.Off.The.Ball.And.Damaged.His.Spine. What circumstances can possibly justify that?

  • jacques.duplessis.3785 - 2012-11-14 18:43

    Useless idiot couldn't play rugby 10 years ago still useless now!and I see just as dirty as usual??

  • addie.steenkamp - 2012-11-14 19:31

    Vuilgat bly 'n Vuilgat !!

  • francois.v.eeden.3 - 2012-11-15 08:11

    naat gat bully

  • christo.piek.5 - 2012-11-15 09:04

    And he is a Kings man! Supersport, please give this hooligan a red card!

  • clinton.ramsbottom - 2012-11-15 09:10

    So I wonder what all of those who felt Kempson was guilty until proven innocent, and wanted to lynch him, have to say now that all charges have apparently been dropped by the police and IRB?

  • byron.wright.102 - 2012-11-15 09:43

    Its a legents Game you plonker and you hit the guy from behingand off the ball. he is also there number 10 and isnt likely a brawler

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